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Energy diversification a priority of Gov't, says Shaw

Friday, October 06, 2017

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Finance and the Public Service Minister Audley Shaw says energy diversification, with increased use of renewable solutions, is a strategic priority of the Government in order to achieve sustainable economic growth.

The country's National Energy Policy of 2009-2030 speaks to Jamaica having a secured, diversified and sufficient supply of energy, which will, in turn, support long-term economic and social development as well as environmental sustainability.

“Our energy-sector plan focuses on the creation of a sector that provides affordable and accessible energy supplies with long-term energy security, contributes to international competitiveness through the productive sectors of the economy and improves the quality of life for citizens,” Shaw said.

He noted that the plans are “strategic, dynamic and adaptable to the ever-shifting scope of global energy demands”.

Shaw was speaking on the second day of the Natural Gas Conference held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston yesterday.

The three-day conference, under the theme 'New Horizons: The Development of a Natural Gas Sector in Jamaica – Prospects and Challenges', is being jointly hosted by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) and the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica.

It seeks to foster greater understanding of the implications of the introduction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the Jamaican marketplace, with particular emphasis on the anticipated economic impact, commercial opportunities, governance and regulation.

By June 2019, 45 per cent of the electricity supplied by the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) will come from cheaper, cleaner LNG.

By then, the power company's Old Harbour and Jamalco plants will come on stream to join the Bogue facility in St James, which received its first shipment of LNG in October 2016.

Shaw offered congratulations to the brewery, Red Stripe, which is set to become the first commercial entity in Jamaica to be powered by LNG.

He urged other companies to get on board and to also look at implementing renewable energy solutions.